Queen Elizabeth II isn’t as imposing as she used to be.
At least, that’s the case in the subjective eyes of Justin Trudeau, who met her again this week. The first time, he was a few decades younger, a few feet shorter and his dad was Prime Minister.
Now the younger Trudeau’s in that role, and the Queen is only one of the many people he’s met in his whirlwind world tours in the first weeks as PM.
Trudeau took a few minutes out of his day on Wednesday, before meeting the Queen and his British counterpart David Cameron, for a walk in London’s Green Park with Global News’ Tom Clark.
WATCH: Justin Trudeau had his first meeting (as Prime Minister, that is) with Queen Elizabeth II Wednesday
In his first days on the job, Trudeau said, he’s found making a personal connection with another political leader goes a long way.
“You get more done if you have a moment of personal connection that cuts through a lot of the formalities and nonsense.”
And some leaders have surprised him.
“With all of our responsibilities, with all that we do, we are still people with personalities and quirks and ups and downs and a genuine interest in being helpful and a passion for serving our country. … We also love to kick back and have a beer at the end of the day.”
Getting that beer can be tough, though: Trudeau’s Philippines hotel only offered champagne and fresh juices. So the hotel dispatched someone to the nearest grocery store to pick up some bottles of the local brew.
He hasn’t yet had a beer with U.S. president Barack Obama, but he hopes to soon.
Meeting the Queen is a particular highlight of his trip to the UK, as it was when Trudeau was a child.
“I remember she was always lovely and gracious and very tall. Which really points out how little I was at that particular moment.”
WATCH: A picture worth a thousand words: photographer recaptures Trudeau’s ‘pirouette’ moment nearly 40 years later
He brought his two youngest children, Ella Grace and Hadrien, with him to that meeting so they too could have similar memories.
Trudeau admits he tries to bring a more personal, emotional touch to his leadership style. But that doesn’t make him a pushover, he says.
“I’ve been knocked around in the schoolyard, not hard because I can always fight back, but because of my father’s job. I’ve had people befriend me for the wrong reasons and end up leaving me feeling betrayed. I have had people judge me positively and negatively based on nothing other than perceptions or prejudice and I have had to stay very, very strong within who I am and what I am.”
“Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that someone who is emotional is somehow weaker or more vulnerable than anyone else. If there’s one thing that my mom taught me, it’s that emotions and being connected to them can be a tremendous source of strength,” he said.
“I think that’s one of the things that perhaps Canadians got to see in this past election campaign.”
WATCH: There is intense pressure on Canada’s new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who has promised to elevate this country’s position on the world stage. Mike Le Couteur reports.
WATCH: A walk in the park with Prime Minister Trudeau.